After buying a new laptop I wanted to make sure I charged its battery for the appropriate amount of time. The amount of time it needs to be charged is important because it is the beginning of taking care of the battery. Therefore, I decided to find out the appropriate time to charge laptop batteries.
How long should a laptop battery be charged? In general, laptop batteries should be charged until they are full and can remain charging because modern batteries stop charging at 100%. A new laptop should be charged for 24 hours, which can help prolong its life. Read through your laptops documentation and follow those guidelines if different.
Understanding how long to charge a laptop’s battery is important for taking care of it. The average lithium based laptop battery last for about 18-24 months through normal use. It is important to understand how to care for a laptop battery as soon as possible.
Explanation on How Long to Charge Your Laptop’s Battery
Modern laptops use Li-ion batteries which stop charging at 100%, therefore you cannot damage them if you leave them plugged into the charger according to Battery University . The laptop is ready to be used as long as it has battery power out of the box. Whether your laptop’s battery is brand new or you have owned the laptop for a while, it is safe to charge a battery to full capacity when necessary.
In general, It is recommended that you charge your laptop’s battery to full capacity whenever it falls below 100%. This can take up to a few hours. After 100% the laptop will rely on the power cable for its power source and when it discharges under 100% it will charge to maximum capacity again.
On average laptop batteries have around 500 to 1000 cycles of charges. A full cycle is charging your laptop’s battery from 0 to 100%. Conserving the amount of cycles your laptop goes through will preserve the battery for a longer period.
What Harms Your Laptop’s Battery and how to Prolong its life
Heat harms laptop batteries which is why it is important to monitor your laptop while using it. Laptop chargers that are left plugged in for long durations may increase the amount of heat your battery is producing which increases your chance of damaging it.
Laptop batteries are made of lithium-based material and it is best to keep them at a temperature of 50 to 95 degrees Fahrenheit.
Make sure to not obstruct the vents on your laptop which allow airflow throughout them. The vents along with the internal laptop fans keep the internal hardware, such as the battery, at appropriate temperatures.
Laptop brightness consumes a lot of battery power and should be lowered when possible. Also do not forget to adjust the brightness on your laptop’s keyboard as well, because these can consume quite a bit of energy as well. In some settings, such as working outside on a sunny day, the brightness may have to be increased therefore it cannot be helped.
For Mac users, the display’s brightness can be adjusted by pressing the F1/F2 keys on your laptop’s keyboard or a Mac keyboard. Apple created a more in depth guide on adjusting display brightness which can be found here. They also created a guide on how to adjust the brightness on backlit keyboards which can be found here.
For Windows users the display’s brightness can be adjusted by navigating to the search icon on the bottom left -> searching for brightness -> then manually adjusting the display brightness from the Settings application. Windows created a more in depth guide on how to adjust the display brightness which can be found here.
Another way to take care of your laptop’s battery is to close applications you are not using. Laptops a certain amount of memory for each opened application which requires battery power. Keeping excess applications open will use unnecessary energy and cause your battery to run through unnecessary cycles.
Keep an eye out for the latest updates for your laptop. Todays operating systems give users an alert when there is an update. These updates sometimes address performance issues which make the laptop operate more efficiently on the battery power.
If you are not using any bluetooth devices or if you are not using the internet, consider turning them off. Keeping the bluetooth on will cause your laptop to constantly search for a bluetooth device which will harm your battery.
When the wi-fi is left on, your laptop will consume power from searching for a wifi connection if it is not connected or from maintaining an active connection.
Why Do Laptop Batteries Degrade Over Time
Putting your battery through repeated recharge cycles and leaving the battery at 100% capacity will both degrade laptop batteries. The debate still remains on which one has a more negative impact on the battery.
Laptop batteries will degrade over time, even if you do not use them. A lithium ion battery at 100% charge will lose around 20 percent of its capacity after about a year of being stored away. Storing the battery away while it is at 0% will also negatively impact the battery.
The best way to store the battery for a long period of time is charge it to 50%, and put leave it in a cooled area. This will help decrease the speed at which it degrades. Even if the battery is stored in ideal conditions, it will still die after a few years.
Can I use my New Laptop During the first Charge? New laptops can be used during the first charge. Laptops can be used out of the box after purchase, as long as it has power. It is recommended to charge laptops to 100% whenever it is lower than that.
Is it bad to charge Your laptop overnight? Charging the laptop’s battery for prolonged periods of time can heat it up and harm the battery. Therefore charging it overnight can negatively impact your battery from the heat being produced.
Is it better to charge a laptop while it is shut down? Charging the laptop battery while it is shut off will produce less heat therefore it is better for the battery health. It is ok to charge a laptop while it is on, but make sure to watch the heat levels of it.